STEP 1 – Write a mission statement and outline a general business plan.
Every business needs a mission statement behind it – whether you decide to make it public or not. A mission statement is essentially the skeleton of your entire company, and the very nucleolus of your more fleshed-out business plan.
That’s why, first and foremost, you should establish and continuously refer back to a concrete mission statement. Otherwise you’ll have a bunch of great ideas and good intentions floating around without a common goal lined up, no body or vessel for the soul of your business idea to live in, so to speak.
While the soul of your business is what counts – a soul without a body (or a foundation) doesn’t have much agency to make things happen (sorry to get all metaphysical on you, but it’s a good analogy!).
So, after you get a solid mission statement in order – next draft a general business plan.
What you include in this plan really depends on the nature of your business, but here are a few things you can choose to record:
- Your start-up list and goals: What have you done so far? What do you need to accomplish next? Where do you hope to be in 6 months, a year, 5 years?
- Determine your purpose, your potential, and your potential market as best you can.
- Make sure to list your “differentiators”, the things that make you different than the competition. These will be important to your success in the field.
- Your finances and budget. What’s the projected cost of your operating materials, rent, staff, etc.? These are very early projections, but this will give you some direction as you move forward.
Drafting even a quick, general business plan will help you make the best use of your time when you consult with a small business attorney, bank representative, or accountant. Don’t blindly jump into anything – take time to organize your thoughts, goals and perimeters before establishing any concretes.
Now check out STEP 2 of the 3 Essential Steps for Starting a Small Business in Florida, all about making your business official and navigating your choices on the very allusive yet essential, sunbiz.org.